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Hardly Known Parts of the Human Body

Updated on November 2, 2015

"Medical terms are for medical people," is what I often hear. It's logical, I think but it doesn't mean that non-medical people are excuse in knowing a few basic medical terms especially when these terms describe the areas of the human body that we often use, feel, see or touch.

So let's get familiar with those areas of the human body that are hardly known by most of us (non-medical people) and we'll see how many of these you already knew. I myself didn't know a few of these names until recently.



In India, this is the part where bindi, a traditional red circular mark or dot worn by Indian women on their forehead, is put. See picture. Glabella, in other words, is the space between your eyebrows.

Lacrimal Caruncle
Lacrimal Caruncle
Nasal Septum
Nasal Septum

Lacrimal Caruncle

When something gets into your eye you are advised to rub it slowly towards the corner near to the nose bridge. And when you cry tears usually start to fall from this area. If you stretch that area a little bit towards the nose you can find a small pinkish/red nodule in the inside of it. That's lacrimal caruncle.

Nasal Septum

The term nasal gives you the idea where nasal septum might be. It refers to the nose that houses the nostrils. Nasal septum, in other words, is the area that divides the nostrils. Some people put nose rings here. You can touch and see it yourself. You can even ask somebody to face up and it's there. See the picture.



Philtrum is the indentation between the nose and the lips. Legend says that if you meet a woman without this she must be a fairy. So when I was a kid I used to look at women's nose and lips and check whether it has some indentation or not. Well, I haven't found someone without one.



In Latin, uvula means "little grape". It is the pink flap of tissue at the back of the throat near the tonsils. See picture. It's role is significant in the articulation of sounds in the human voice. And it's evident that newborns with cleft palate also have cleft uvula.


Locate your chin and touch the lowest part of it. That's gnathion, the lowest part of the chin.


Everybody may know where the navel or belly button is located but not everyone knows the term of that dirt you used to dislodge using your finger or cotton swabs. It's called lint...navel lint or belly button lint. Lint is an accumulated clothing fibers, which break or jostle out during the course of wearing, and other particles like hair, skin cells, and dust. The dirt you find in the pockets of your pants or shirts are also called lint.

Intercostal space
Intercostal space

Intercostal Space

Touch your ribs and feel the spaces between those ribs. These spaces are visible in an X-ray. That space between two ribs is called the intercostal space.

Coccynx or tailbone
Coccynx or tailbone


According to Science, humans and chimpanzees evolved from the same ancestor but they differ in many ways. One of these differences is that, humans don't have tails but chimpanzees do. But humans have tailbone or the last bone in their back. You yourself can touch and feel it. This last bone in the back or tailbone is called coccynx.

left (palm); right (opisthenar)
left (palm); right (opisthenar)


Stretch your arms and fingers. They must be tired from typing and browsing. Now, look at your left palm.Turn it over. What you are seeing right now is the back of your hand. Yeah, that's opisthenar...the back of your hand. This is the usual part of the hand that gets inserted with a cannula to remove fluid.



If your fingernails and toenails are polished you won't see this but if they're not, that's the white, crescent shaped area at the base of the fingernail or the toenail. That's lunula and generally noticeable on the thumb. Lunula means "moon" in Latin. Lunulae is the plural, just in case. It is not actually white but it appears so when seen under the nail. Caution: lunula once damaged, the nail will permanently be deformed.


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